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Brindille Needs Seasoning; Next Dazzles; More

Photo: Barry Brecheisen

Mike Sula thinks the dishes at Brindille are "technically sound" but offer "subdued, though pleasant, flavors." The "silkiest, most tender" sweetbreads with a tiny rabbit chop and loin "couldn't effuse more spring unless it squirted pollen in your face" while seared foie gras is a "perfectly executed treatment" of the liver. The main issue is that the dishes are so "muted in seasoning" you might "wish for a bit more acidity or salt in the sauce." This surfaces on plates like the king crab merus that's accompanied by a "spongy, bland" tapioca cake, and broiled monkfish tail that's "flat in flavors." Desserts are "livelier" with Sula deeming the excellent clafoutis "worth the 20-minute wait." [Reader]

Next garners another four star-review from Phil Vettel as its latest menu "dazzles diners with one inventive vegan creation after another." A dark rock topped with flowers is actually fried kale with a thick blanket of avocado puree, "torched for a deeper, darker flavor," while a sprouted tempeh bite "will change your mind about tempeh." An "absolutely brilliant salsify composition" mimics the flavor of a mignonette-dressed oyster; curry-roasted cauliflower over harissa sauce "would be at home on the cover of a magazine;" and a play on Thai larb is "sharply contemporary, caged in by crispy wires of toasted quinoa." Vettel thinks the menu is an absolute must for vegans and that "the art of possible is on display." [Tribune]

Kabocha fails to push the envelope and "feels kinda dated," according to Julia Kramer. A mosaic of tuna and hamachi is "obliterated by super-smoky bacon, hyper-intense micro-greens and bracingly pickled shallots," while a "lack of finesse" plagues the whole-fish entrée. Other dishes "fail to cohere" like "tepidly flavored" rabbit dumplings with a tart vinaigrette as well as an "odd" octopus salad with a deep-fried egg yolk that turns the plate into a "total non-sequitur." Even the wine and sake selection are "excitement-free," leading to a meal that's "destined to be immediately forgotten." [TOC]


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